Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is probably the most real issue in my life at the moment. I personally have never been cyber bullied but I have close friends who have. Cyber bullying is basically when someone uses the internet to bully someone. I think it is the most cruel form of bullying because not only is it cowardly, it never truly goes away. Anything that is online is around forever and can be accessed by anybody.

I think that we don’t get educated properly in schools about cyber bullying. We get told what can happen and we all know just how serious it can be but I know that I never really took it seriously until I saw first hand just how real cyber bullying is. I think that teenagers aren’t properly made to understand that it can and does happen to anyone. I felt as if I wasn’t nearly as informed about the realities of cyber bullying as I should have been.

When we are being taught about cyber bullying, I think that we should see more real stories about people who have been affected from all different types of cyber bullying. Teenagers need to see that cyber bullying comes in many different forms not just teasing and hurtful messages. Bullying can also be spreading rumours or doing anything that is purposely meant to hurt the other person involved. People need to know that anything that they find hurtful online IS classified as cyber bullying.

As much as it’s a bore to listen to the lectures on online safety, they are totally important. There are so many situations where people don’t feel safe online which then leads to them not feeling safe in other areas of their life. Almost losing a friend to cyber bullying has opened my eyes to the dark side of the internet and although that hasn’t limited the amount of time I send online, it has made me wary of people on the internet.

Thanks Ash xxx

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WOW Ashlea, what profound words. Hearing this directly from the people adults are trying to teach is amazing. Are we not informing our children of the real dangers of cyber bullying?

As I sit here at my mac and type away, I can be anyone I want to be. If I am in a bad mood, I can vent my anger to the world via the blog. If someone has annoyed me, I can tell the world via either of my websites and show the world just how ripped off I feel. I can pretend to be a princess, flirtatious, bold, confident – in fact I can be anything I choose. It is easy to pretend when it is only my and my computer.

Ashlea’s generation has grown up with computers as another appendage, a natural extension of themselves. Deciding what is real online and what may be potentially harmful is not easy, especially if all you have ever known is life with the internet.

Let’s teach our children better social etiquette, both online and in person. If you would not say it to the persons face, one on one, then you do not say it online for everyone to read. It is a cowardice act and one that should be tolerated. Our children are too precious.

cheers natalie xxx

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3 tips for online safety

I cannot express enough the importance of being safe online. I’ve grown up in a generation that has been basically raised on electronics. I know how undeniably important it is to be as safe as humanly possible online.

Personal experience has shown me just how dangerous the online world can be. I’ve seen that there are people online who are just as bad as people in the real world. On the news you see stories about kidnappings and murders but it shocks me how little stories there are on online mishaps.

To keep safe online, I’ll leave you with three top tips for you or your daughters:

  1. If you don’t know them personally, you just don’t know them. If someone random starts talking to you don’t talk back. The worst thing you can do online is give your trust to people you don’t even know.
  2. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. I know this is old advice but it’s definitely important. It doesn’t just apply to spam emails or messages, it also applies to people. If a person seems too perfect, providing you don’t know them of course, they probably aren’t who you think they are.
  3. Don’t give out your personal details to anyone. That doesn’t just mean bank details or phone number. That also means simple things such as school or sporting clubs. People online are very smart so even a little bit of information can go along way.  Ashlea xxx

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Online safety is something most parents worry about. As Ashlea states, her generation have always experienced the internet but my generation did not grow up with online interaction. When I was a child you either called your girlfriend on the telephone (cordless if you were lucky) or you had to wait until the next day to chat with them.

I worry about online safety as technology is constantly changing and kids are quick to catch onto the next ‘new’ thing way before most adults have even heard about the new ‘app’ even existing. I love Ashlea’s tips and support them thoroughly. I will add a couple more tips from a mums point of view.

  1. Once it is out there, it is never coming back. A simple, thoughtless decision like sending a naked selfie to a boyfriend or posting a nasty comment about an ex-friend, will stay in the cyber world forever. Always understand that our lives are changing constantly and so do our thoughts. So what may seem OK today, can feel very wrong the following day.
  2. Become familiar with the sites your children visit. I understand it can be a little overwhelming with all the new apps and websites children seem to know, so by limiting which sites they frequent can help you gain a greater understanding of how the site works.
  3. Parenting needs to flow to online. We teach our children to not talk to strangers, to use our manners and many other qualities we believe are important to become a grounded, well-adjusted adult. This parenting advice needs to flow into the cyber world. We need to teach them the rules which are important for online interaction and follow up on these rules as we would do if rules were broken within the home environment.

cheers natalie

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